Tiger promises no mercy for opponents
Posted: 10/6/2004
By: Rob Turville (thisisguernsey.com)

Swedish grandmaster Tiger Hillarp-Persson is after his third consecutive open victory in the MeesPierson Reads Chess Festival at the Peninsula Hotel.
‘It is not my intention to let anyone else win this year,’ he said when jokingly asked whether he may ease off and let someone else lay a hand on the trophy that has been his since he started coming here.


Tiger Hillarp-Persson considers his next move. (Picture by John O’Neill)

There may have been an element of light-heartedness in his response: it was difficult to tell. Hillarp-Persson speaks in a measured and thoughtful manner typical of a well-educated Continental European.
The 33-year-old Swede is a philosophy and political economics graduate. It seems that words are used as correctly as any Grunfeld or Benko Gambit opening: precision is everything.
There are 84 players in this year’s tournament, split almost evenly between the open and the holiday events. The toughest challenge may come from English international master Robert Bellin, another previous winner.
‘I had a very tough match against a young player last year. He was a very good player and played excellently against me. I was playing black and I had to pull a whole bunch of white rabbits out of the hat against him.’
Hillarp-Persson must enjoy his visits to the Channel Islands – he has also won three times in Jersey.
It is likely he will have played all his opponents in this event sometime before. If not, then he will very quickly learn their style of play.
‘Most top chess players have a database of all their opponents on computer. On my laptop I have about three million matches and it is possible to use Internet sites to download even more.
‘I use a programme into which I enter several parameters – for example, if my opponent is playing white, if I want all his matches for the past five years – the computer shows me all his games. I can then analyse this and decide how best to play him.
‘It is also possible to download annotated games, but I prefer not to because sometimes the person that makes the notes gets things wrong.’
Hillarp-Persson realises that not everyone can reach his exacting standards – but that is not surprising: he is in the top 300 in the world.
Involved in chess since age 13 and professional since 1996, Hillarp-Persson plays ‘as many tournaments as I want to’ each year.
So far in 2004, he has been in nine, with shared first places in two in Spain and three wins in Sweden.
‘Guernsey could easily attract more players. I am surprised that there are not more here. From Sweden it is extremely cheap to fly to London. Many more players would be interested in coming here.’
Is he the typical chess champion?
‘The “average player” varies very much from country to country. In the south of Europe at least 75% are male, very young and are mad-keen on football. In Germany and England it is often older men who play.
‘The status of the game is not very high in England. It has a much higher status in the Nordic countries and you can tell as the players have more self-confidence. In England you sometimes can play tournaments in the back rooms of hotels, but in Sweden we have first-class facilities.’
Hillarp-Persson obviously possesses a very analytical brain, but he said that such a trait is not necessarily essential to become a great chess player.
‘There are three kinds of chess player: those with a mathematical skill, those with a music skill and those with a language skill. Sometimes you get someone with two of the three, but it is very rare to find someone with all three. They make the best players.’
Fred Hamperl, one of the Guernsey players chasing the holiday prize, added: ‘It helps to have an optical appreciation of space and spare colours.’
Suddenly an image was conjured up which best described the Swede’s approach to the game.
‘It can be like pinball. It is possible in pinball to get into a loop of always hitting the ball up a ramp, down and back again and scoring so many points.
‘That can be done two ways: you can watch the ball coming towards the flipper and press the button to hit it back. That is an analytical player and he will be a very good chess player.
‘But the best player is the one who can get into a rhythm, go beyond what he can see and press the flipper button just from the feel of where the ball will be, almost with his eyes closed. He will be a great chess player.’
The Tiger also said that a very human asset would always give a person an advantage over even the most powerful of computers.
‘You can’t be too digital; computers can because they have massive processing power and can see every possible move. But humans can judge positions using intuition; you can have a “feel” for the game which computers cannot.
‘Computers will soon be able to process more data in a shorter time and they will be better than a human in a short, timed game. A grandmaster will be able to beat a computer at a proper game.
‘I always lose a five-minute game against a computer,’ said Hillarp-Persson. ‘But a human at the highest level will beat a computer at the highest level.’
Hamperl said: ‘Chess is finite in that there are only ever a set number of possible moves and outcomes, but that number is so high it seems to be infinite.’
Computers cannot be intimidated, human opponents can, said Hillarp-Persson.
That can take the form of leaning over the board, moving pieces firmly around the board, banging the time clock, even a persistent twitching of a leg.
In the case of anyone facing Hillarp-Persson, possibly even the steely stare of an ultra-confident grandmaster.
More in this section:
2017 - 28 Families Participated In DOCTOR DAVE OSTFELD MEMORIAL SUMMER
West Point Military Academy Makes Presence Known At 2nd Largest ICA Saturday Qu
Plavnik Family, Jonathan, And Anthony Win Ostfeld Memorial Spring
April 23Rd, 2017 Blitz Tournament
Early Bird Deadlines For Spring And Summer Camps At ICA Approaching!
We Are OPEN For Classes Today In Both Locations
Due To Inclement Weather, Glen Rock Classes Are Canceled On Tuesday, March 14th
Due To The Winter Storm, Today February 9th ICA Will Be Closed.
2017 Feb 10Th Blitz
2017 Valentine’s Day & St. Patrick’s Day Blitz Tournaments
Grandmaster Fishbein, Mozart, Kal Penn, A Pirate, And Jon Bon Jovi ...
The ICA\'s New Year\'s Blitz Tournament Is This Saturday In Glen Rock
\"Weather Alert:\" ICA Will Be Open Tomorrow December 17th.\"
New Year’s Blitz Tournament December 31st!
ICA Winter Chess Camp: December 26th-December 30th!
Congratulations To ALL ICA Students Who Participated In NJ State Grade Champions
ICA Coach IM Mark Dvoretsky
Fall Semester 2016
Millionaire Dollar Chess Tournament Comes
Online Registration The Glen Rock
Dear Parents,
JANUARY 24 TOURNAMENTS At BCA Are Moved To JANUARY 31
Yusupov Interactive Lecture Series Schedule
Artur Yusupov Gives Second Lecture In World Champions Series
Artur Yusupov’s “Interactive” Lecture On Mikhail Tal And Blitz Tournament Result
Former World Rated #3 GM Artur Yusupov To Give “Interactive” Lecture
Four Way Tie In 2015 Fall Ostfeld Memorial Open Competition
Mathew Lerman”ator” Wins 2015 U1600 Fall Ostfeld Memorial Competition
Stripunsky Family Wins First Ostfeld Memorial Family event of the Season
2015 Fall Ostfeld Memorial Scholastic Competition Results
Summer Camp 2015 Comes To An End: Sign Ups For The Fall Semester Open!
International Chess Academy Vs. Long Island Chessmates: Match #4
Aryeh Lieb Shlionsky Pan American Champion! Wins Title In Colombia!
Registration Open For Scholastic, Master, And GM Camps ....
Results From New Jersey State Championships
DOCTOR DAVE OSTFELD MEMORIAL SUMMER 2014 Championshi
Boris Gulko Lecture May 22, 2014
Kasparov Conqueror Boris Gulko Lectured At ICA Teaneck May 8th!
GM Fishbein Lectures On Chess Psychology
03/27/2014 Fishbein, Alexander Lecture
03/20/2014 GM Ilya Gurevich Lecture
Kudrin Lectures At 2nd ICA Thursday Swiss!
Thursday Night Tournaments And Lectures:
March 6th Lecture: Black Knights Tango
Early Winter ICA Family Results: Xu, Riener, Shusterman...
GM Gelashvili Survives Charge By Katz To Win Open Section Of Dr. Ostfeld Memori
Early Winter Dr Ostfeld Memorial Scholastic Championships...
Vittal Wins Inaugural Open U1600 Section!
GM Gelashvili Tops Open Section In 1st Dr. Ostfeld Memorial Tournament Of Year
September 21st 2013 Saturday Quads Results: Pasarkar, Xu Brothers, Pavlova Win!
Three Amigos Win Dr. Ostfeld Open Section Spring Edition; Bartell, Kudrin, Katz
ICA Dr Ostfeld Memorial Spring Scholastic Championship Results
“Go Team” East Results; “Arrrrrr” “Geeee” Three Offensive Rookie Of The Year!
Ivan Ke, Josh Lerman
Triple Tie For First; Grandmasters, Stripunsky, Fishbein, And Kudrin Share First
ICA Dr. Ostfeld Memorial Winter Scholastic Championship!
Pushkin Plays Chess! Highest Rated Chess Dog In America!
ICA Students Excel At 2012 NJ State Grade Championship
Hurricane Sandy Creates Make-Up Week During Winter Semester!
ICA SCHOOL IN TEANECK & FAIR LAWN ARE OPEN
The New School Year: The United States Chess League Is Coming To The ICA!
Dr. Ostfeld Memorial Scholastic Early Winter Championships!
Grandpa Kudrin Rocking His Chair To Dr Ostfeld Memorial Open Win!
Summer-In-The-Winter Camp Results: Season’s Greetings From Chess Clause
Team East - It’s Just Two Months Away!
Dr. Ostfeld
FALL 2010 ICA SCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
STUNNER: ICA COACH LERNER SHOCKINGLY UPSETS INTERNATIONAL MASTER MIKHAIL ZLOTNIK
STARTING MAY 1st WE WILL BE MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION IN FAIR LAWN!
PROFESSIONAL PLAY FROM ICA AT AMATEUR TEAM EAST COMPETITION!
Pasarkar, Ionita Families Win ICA Winter Scholastics Family Event!
ICA WINTER 2010 SCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPS DOMINATED BY CAPITAL KRAZY KIDS!
Army Man Arthur Feuerstein Co-Winner Of ICA OPEN!
ICA COACH ‘GM’ ARTUR JUSSUPOW (YUSUPOV) WINS FIDE AWARD FOR BEST CHESS BOOK!
Spring Schedules For Teaneck And Fair Lawn Are Available.
Winter Schedules For Teaneck And Fair Lawn Are Available
Register For Fall Semester Before 8/28 And Save $50!
ICA Celebrates Approach Of Summer With Tournament In Spring!
ICA Winter Championship 2/3/2008
ICA Winter Championship OPEN SECTION
ICA Early Winter 2007
NJ State Grade Championship 11/18/2007
ICA Spring Championship
2006 Women\'s World Chess Cup
Karpov on AI, search engines and chess
V.BOLOGAN. SWING
The real secrets of intuition in chess
Russia captures world chess championship title
Spain Names School after Bulgaria's Topalov
New chess champ has a novel way of winning
World Chess Championship had started in Argentina
Anand shocked by Kasimdzhanov in World Chess
Sending the Rook to the Opposite Wing
Russian Championship Qualifier
Congratulations to Hana Itkis
THE 106th U.S. OPEN CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP
Live 8 and chess in Philadelphia
ICA Students and Teachers at HB Global Chess, Minneapolis May 18 - May 22
Man versus Machine: the battle for supremacy
The $20,000 free-for-all chess tournament
It's checkmate for chess world's boy wonder
Bobby Fischer, anti-US chess legend, now hates Japan too
CHESS PLAYS IN NASHVILLE - MUSIC CITY!
Kasparov pulls out of world chess championship, blasts FIDE
Chess whiz at the tender age of 9
Chess Champions
ARMENIA TO HOST WORLD'S FIRST ONLINE CHESS COMPETITION
Chess legend granted residency in Iceland
7 year old Chess Champ
Vela, Hanna dominate national chess tourney
Borough fourth-graders study chess
2004 Best of Phoenix Scholastic Chess Championship
Harika wins gold in World Youth Chess
CHESS Lubomir Kavalek
Saitek Mephisto Maestro Travel Chess Computer
Calvia Chess Olympiad 2004 - Round Two Results
Kramnik keeps chess classical world title
Chess Olympiad begins
EYES highlights the social benefits of chess
Canada's chess king is just 16
Barbados set to compete at Chess Olympiad
CHESS Lubomir Kavalek
Dr Andrew Borg new Malta champion
U.S. Women’s Team Aims for Medal At 36th World Chess Olympiad
Chess association to start year at Heritage
6-member Team For Chess Olympiad
Locals in SA chess friendly games
Favorites lead 2004 Euro Club Cup
Chess Queen Matches Wits with FIDE Champ
Chess players meet their match - quietly
Paragua rules GM tourney
Brownsville student invited to international chess tourney
Students do battle in chess
Kids test chess skills in tournament
WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP SETS RECORD FOR U.S. PLAYERS!
Genrikh Chepukaitis Died.
Monache chess team hosting tourney
APS Junior Chess Championship 2004
Chess tournament honors girl’s memory
How to prepare to the game (mentally) & Time management Placket-Sadler, 1998/99
The richest open tournament in chess history